Have you ever asked yourself:

A guide to why anime is the way it is:

Book Jacket

Published in October 2002 to considerable praise, Anime Explosion! looks at the ways in which animation in Japan draws on the history, culture, religions, legends, and social codes of Japan to create, shape and re-shape this unique medium.  In its nearly 400 pages you'll see how the ancient legend of the monkey who travelled to India inspired one of the first anime (shown in America as Alakazam the Great! in 1959) as well as one of the most popular (Dragonball Z); how the Buddhist attitude toward suicide affects anime plots; and how a very real battleship became a spaceship in Star Blazers.  You'll learn how legendary figure Momotaro the Peach Boy appears as a magical girl(!), trace the evolution of the samurai hero from World War II to the present, and find out why hitch-hiking in Japan isn't as taboo as we make it in America.  This is a breakdown of Japanese cartoons that--like its subject--is both serious and fun.

Heck, I think I know more about Japanese culture than most anime fans and I learned a lot from this book.  I strongly recommend it to fans who wish to deepen their knowledge of Japanese culture in anime
--Gilles Poitras, author of The Anime Companion

a nice chunky book on anime tropes and traits, written by someone who knows something about Japan. I can certainly see unscrupulous students lifting large parts of this to impress their teachers in years to come
--Jonathan Clements, co-author of  The Anime Encyclopedia

Anime Explosion: The What? Why? and Wow! of Japanese Animation

by PATRICK DRAZEN (patrickdrazen@yahoo.com)

Available in bookstores online and in the real world

Published by specialists in fine books on all aspects of Japan:

STONE BRIDGE PRESS (www.stonebridge.com)